Thursday, September 13, 2012

Connecting - are we?

In Rotary there is much effort being put into advertising campaigns.  We have the wonderful support from Rotary International in providing grants to assist in this marketing.  We have the social media tools which in some Clubs and Districts are being well used.  We use banners and high visibility clothing in some places and we are starting to pick up our game with appointing PR-focused members to look out for opportunities.
And then on the other hand we have a wonderful story.  Our activity in the community and around the world speaks volumes about the passion and the generosity of our volunteers.  We change lives, we save lives and we are doing so with sustainable projects that reach out into our community.

But are we connecting?

We have the marketing methods on one hand and we have a powerful message to tell.  But are we effectively communicating this message to those in our target audience who also want to give back to the community?  To improve our efforts in attracting new members to Rotary we need to connect.  We need to connect people with people.  We need to connect our story to individuals through effective marketing and effective public relations.  To do this we need to re-examine what we are (or in cases what we are not) doing.

Training in your Club, evaluating what you are doing and examining and adopting those methods working elsewhere in Rotary are key steps that any Club can take.  Let's examine those Clubs that are growing.  Those Clubs who are attracting new members and identify what it is that is allowing them to 'connect'.

Are we connecting?  I suggest in most cases we are not doing as well as we can.  We have a wonderful story but if we neglect our 'story-telling' we run the risk of self-extinction.